Saturday, April 3, 2010

Back in Moscow, Facing the Subway

Flying back from New York is a whole lot easier without Katya and Natalia in the mix, but it's tiring nonetheless... The day started off with a five hour bus drive from the last university to JFK, THEN the flight, so it was VERY hard to get up the following morning in time for my 8:45 class!

The girls are SO happy to have me home. They're also very happy that Spring has finally arrived. They're outside right now riding the new scooters I brought back for them.

I need to go to the doctor this afternoon, and the quickest way to get there would be to take the subway... But I'm still afraid. I'd have to use one of the stations bombed earlier this week... It's such a long, long descent down that escalator into the belly of the station, and I just can't shake my fears.

It was different when we lived in New York City on 9/11. While a huge chunk loomed empty in the Manhattan skyline, and there was grief all around, I didn't personally have to traverse the actual site on a regular basis.

In Moscow it's awfully hard to just avoid the subway. I feel very fortunate to have a car.

Other colleagues are having a really hard time of it... One has started counseling because she's too afraid to use the subway, yet it's the only way she can actually get to work. The school has been really understanding about it and we're all doing everything we can to accommodate people who need longer to commute so they can put together a hodgepodge commute by bus instead.

It turns out that many teachers from school missed being in either station when the bombs were detonated by a four to five minute margin... One of our math teachers realized that he had actually been riding in the same subway car with one of the bombers when he decided on the spur of the moment to get out one stop earlier and walk—thus saving his own life!

The gorgeous sun shining outside and the cheerful birds singing are a completely incongruous background to this state of fear and anger...


The Expatresse said...

Wow about the math teacher. Sheesh.

garnet said...

Oh, I do not blame you about the fears. I'm not sure I could ever go in again. Hope you'll either be able to avoid the subway from now on or else feel more relaxed when you do have to ride it.